December 6 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Friday, September 27, 2013
Chris Hughton believes Josh Murphy’s eye-catching debut against Watford was further vindication he was right not to make a late foray into the summer transfer market.
Hughton called off his search for a short-term replacement to cover the blow of losing wide player Elliott Bennett until the New Year after he underwent knee ligament surgery. Australian international James Troisi and West Ham’s Ricardo Vaz Te were linked with loan moves but Murphy’s goalscoring impact in the 3-2 Capital One Cup win against the Hornets and the emergence of his twin brother Jacob underline City are well-stocked in wide areas according to Hughton.
Josh is set for a watching brief again at Stoke this weekend, but Hughton has reiterated the teenager is edging closer to regular first team involvement at Premier League level.
“All he can do now is to keep trying to develop, but he is a young lad,” said Hughton. “We just hope that he can continue his development. If he does then at some stage he will be very much around the first team and pushing for league involvement. He is not ready (for the league). He is a young, 18-year-old lad but he certainly hasn’t done himself any harm and his twin brother is not too bad either.
“If you look at it apart from those younger ones I effectively have three available players for two positions. Nathan (Redmond) can play on either flank and (Anthony) Pilkington can do the same and then you have Snoddy (Robert Snodgrass). We did try to address it before the window but I said it would have to be the right player.”
City will head to Manchester United next month with a quarter-final place at stake after overcoming a Watford side Hughton tips to be in the shake up for Championship promotion.
“I think they will be right up there at the end of the season,” he said. “They have a system that suits them very well and they work on it very well. I still felt over the entire game we were the better side. Particularly in that first half period we had a really good spell and found ourselves 1-0 down. We felt aggrieved in the first half to find ourselves 1-0 down. That was disappointing. You have to bounce back from that and we kept trying to do the right things and get the ball into wide areas. We perhaps went through a spell went the game opened up and it looked to have slipped away from us, but to get the win was nothing short of what we deserved.”
Hornets’ boss Gianfranco Zola rated his side’s display against the Canaries as one of the best of his tenure.
“I think so. I think from the second half until the end was one of the best performances. In terms of maturity as well, considering that we had a lot of young players on the pitch, especially in midfield, it was good so it is encouraging,” he said. “We’re going in the right direction and we just need to get that attention as high as possible in the crucial moments of the game. Towards the end of the game we were getting tired, of course. Their goal lifted the cushion that we had and we went a little bit under pressure because of that because we still need to grow up in terms of maturity and controlling games and that was the thing.”